Formerly a Colonel in the British Army, Prescott and his men, the 11th Regiment of Foot, were deployed on the Gold Coast of Africa to fight the Ashanti. He led a sortie across the Pra River, hoping to outflank the Ashanti warriors, but the operation was a failure and several of his men did not survive. Feeling guilt over their deaths, Prescott resigned from the army and settled in London.
He founded a Prescott Munitions, a munitions factory in Southwark, to ensure that the men serving with him would be able to find work when they left the army, offering them a job in his factory. A memorial banner always hung from the front of the building, so as not to forget those who had fallen under his command.
In 1868, Prescott was killed by a long-distance shot in front of his factory. Sergeant Frederick Abberline of the Metropolitan Police Service arrived on the scene shortly after, but allowed the Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye to perform the investigation.
With the help of Arthur Conan Doyle and Henry Raymond, the Frye twins deduced that Samuel Frye was the culprit. Samuel had served under Prescott's command in Africa, and felt embittered over the death of his friends and the lack of consequences for the former Colonel. He confessed when confronted with the evidence of his crime, and was taken away by the authorities.